This post is for those looking to connect your sensors from entire field or factory and gather data on cloud at a low cost, or manage remote assets anywhere in the world using cloud. Then you can use Analytics, Apps, WebUI and instantly derive meaningful and usable knowledge. Also, you can control your machine or experiments securely using Apps or Browser. Do read on…
I’m going to show you today how effortless it is to achieve all of this in a jiffy. Moreover, it does not involve any capital purchases or learning anything new. You just need 1 or 2 devices – costing less than 350$ – Or you could build your own device targeting the functionality and application shown here.
A little bit about us first – you can skip this para if you are not interested in our introduction right now. Our group is in existence since 1975. We founded SureView Instruments 4 years ago to focus on Internet of Things, Industrial Software and devices used in scientific experiments. We make custom IoT devices and end-to-end IoT solutions. For more information, visit our website at www.svinstruments.co.in
Let us assume for sake of clarity that you have either of:
- Few sensors at single physical location whose data you need on your smartphone (or desktop browser)
- Sensors spread out widely on field all of which are to be read and processed in a single environment or dashboard.
- Various machines in your factory or lab – big or small – that you wish to make IoT ready.
In each of these cases you might use your WiFi or require one of the IoT device to connect to mobile data. Let us quickly get to know the only 2 devices you will ever require!
MultiFly 01 – Data Acquisition (DAQ) Device with WiFi
MultiFly series instruments are basically Data-acquisition devices with internet connection. MultiFly 01 reads any sensors using its ADCs. It has built-in signal conditioning for common sensors like pressure, temperature etc. It digitizes data and transfers over WiFi to any PC, PLC, SBC or the master device (or to MultiFly 4G – described later in this post). It also has digital Inputs/Outputs to serve as a normal IO or counter. One amazing feature in MultiFly is that you can read other instruments like power sources, measurement devices etc. using ModBus. Thus you can not only digitize sensors but also read your other machines. This is a nifty feature if your application is like the third assumption (reading various machines in factory or lab). Once the data reaches the terminal via WiFi (we also have an Ethernet model), it can be easily uploaded to the cloud using internet connection on the terminal. Or, the instrument can upload data directly using your WiFi to popular cloud solutions that include Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. We have details on MultiFly 01 on our site and blog.
I hope that assumption no. 1 is taken care of with the description on this page so far. But how to gather data from various physical locations in field or from machines in your factory or lab? The answer is to link multiple MultiFly 01 devices. These devices can be easily configured using the user-friendly browser based UI to work in a single cloud environment. Besides these devices can also be easily configured in master-slave mode where one of the device gathers data from all other devices and uploads to the cloud or Intranet. Thus instead of buying multiple devices from various vendors (& waiting for them to arrive!) and getting them to work together seamlessly on your factory, all you need is the MultiFly series. And since you are busy fulfilling really important tasks, feel free to write to us so we can serve you with a complete, customized solution.
MultiFly 4G – Data Acquisition (DAQ) Device with modem for direct internet/cloud connection
So, I have described how you can connect a field of sensors and machines to your cloud using the MultiFly 01 or variants. But what if there is no WiFi available? This is exactly where MultiFly 4G (or MultiFly 2G) comes in picture. They have all the features of MultiFly 01 with a data modem. So they can read any sensors and equipment (ModBus) and upload data to cloud. Not only that, they can read other MultiFly devices and gather all their data (in addition to its own) and upload everything to the cloud.
The measurement and control is to & fro. Thus your machines or instruments can receive commands to take actions – this would require a little programming effort.
Just come to think about it.. How simple (but no simpler) the thing is!
This is the most no-nonsense, straightforward and highly cost effective approach is. This scheme is actually used in many of our projects. Even if you do not use our MultiFly devices and choose a homemade or alternate solution, you cannot have a more elegant scheme. Those of you working in mega factories, need certain features on your devices, RTUs and dashboard that are not mentioned here because I wanted to first outline a lean solution. On a future date in this blog, I’ll outline our custom-designed solutions for manufacturers (circuit breakers, luminair, and so on..).
If you have any questions or if you would like to involve us in your IoT project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading this post..